Japanese shares end higher on chip stocks boost; corporate outlook…

TOKYO, April 16 (Reuters) – Japanese shares closed slightly higher on Friday as heavyweight chip shares rallied, although concerns around corporate outlook capped the gains.

The Nikkei index ended up 0.14% at 29,683.37, while the broader Topix inched up 0.09% to close at 1,960.87.

Chip-related shares gained after Taiwan Semiconductor 歡迎光臨 Manufacturing Ltd (TSMC), reported a 19.4% rise in first-quarter profit on strong chip demand.

Advantest rose 0.38%, Tokyo Electron gained 0.37% and Renesas Electronic jumped 2.48%.

But, NLI Research Institute’s chief equity strategist Shingo Ide points out that investors are getting cautious about corporate outlook ahead of earnings season starting next week as their expectations were so high.

Electronic components maker Nidec will kickstart earnings for major Japanese manufacturers on Thursday.

Robot maker Yaskawa, the leading indicator on Japanese manufacturers’ earnings trend, this week disappointed investors with its profit outlook and its stock has lost more than 7% this week.

Aiding the cautious stance is the likely expansion of quasi-emergency measures to 10 regions due to a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus.

Among individual shares and sectors, Toshiba dropped 6.03% after a report that the conglomerate told its lenders that it plans to reject a buyout proposal from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Toho, up 3.95%, was the largest percentage gainer on the Nikkei index, followed by Marui Group gaining 3.18% and Daiwa House Industry, up 3.06%.

Tokyo Electric Power, down 4.73%, was the largest percentage loser on the Nikkei, followed by Sharp, losing 3.07%, and Screen Holdings down 2.92 %.

There were 117 advancers on the Nikkei index against 106 decliners.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V)

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